After a few lockdowns over the past couple of years, it's fair to say a lot of us have put on a few lockdown kilos. However, if we need one positive to take out of this pandemic study has found that wearing face masks make us look more attractive.
Researchers at Cardiff University were surprised to find that both men and women were judged to look better with a face-covering obscuring the lower half of their faces. Even odder was that people found the disposable-type surgical masks the most appealing.
“Our study suggests faces are considered most attractive when covered by medical face masks. This may be because we’re used to healthcare workers wearing blue masks and now we associate these with people in caring or medical professions. At a time when we feel vulnerable, we may find the wearing of medical masks reassuring and so feel more positive towards the wearer.”
“The results run counter to the pre-pandemic research where it was thought masks made people think about disease and the person should be avoided,” said Lewis.
“The pandemic has changed our psychology in how we perceive the wearers of masks. When we see someone wearing a mask we no longer think ‘that person has a disease, I need to stay away’.
“This relates to evolutionary psychology and why we select the partners we do. Disease and evidence of disease can play a big role in mate selection – previously any cues to disease would be a big turn-off. Now we can observe a shift in our psychology such that face masks are no longer acting as a contamination cue.”
Off to the supermarket to feel sexy..